Are your kids growing weary of their tried and true online games? This new photo mashup tool on PBS Parents makes Madeleine a sage and the li'l PBS girl her muse (see above). Lots of lovely ways to be creative with your pictures here.
Wondering if you could ever dare do art with your kids when you are feeling so no creative yourself? Here is a gentle photo essay to demystify the process. All you need is a blank piece of paper and a box of paints.
Here's a kind reminder to soak in whatever the day brings--whether the little one in your house is eleven days, eleven months or eleven years. Lovely reflections for such a sweet sunny Saturday.
Since we are incredibly new to TV at our house--we've only had a television with actual channels you could watch since last spring--my kids (and I) are still trying to sort out all this business about what it means to get ready for DTV. Here's a nice educational DTV video that makes sense out of the changes ahead.
We had a knock down drag out about raspberries. I'm sure it wasn't actually about the raspberries, but man oh man, it sure felt like it. I rarely buy raspberries, especially in the dead of winter but they felt like self care somehow. I decided I would buy one thing in the grocery store for me, just me. It feels like I'm always holding back on eating the fruit myself in the name of more good nutrition for my kids. Let's face it; if it's healthy and they'll eat it, we mothers are positively giddy.
Lucy loves fruit almost as much as I do so I wasn't surprised when she started to help herself to my new pint of luscious raspberries. I offered her some in a cup along with some strawberries and said, "Luce, these are my raspberries I bought special for myself, I will share some with you but you gotta ask me okay?"
"Okay mama!" she replied.
I then hid them in the BACK of the refrigerator and left to do some work. One hour later I came back to make lunch and there on the couch was the empty container, raspberry goodness gone.
Let's just say there was yelling and crying next.
"You aren't angry!" she said.
"I am angry, those were MY raspberries!" I replied.
All of the sudden I started sounding like the three year old. We went back and forth. She finally broke after I refused to give her a princess band-aid she found on the floor. I felt silly and strangely satisfied. "I'm so sorry, so sorry I ate your raspberries!" in her most dramatic voice. "Can you hold me?" she says. I hold her and we exchange more apologies. One week later, a new pint of raspberries and another empty container found.
Oh age three, what do I do with you?
Refrigerator locks? Tell me, if you know or have known the drama of three, do share your wisdom...or even better, match my story in the comments.
My husband cracks me up. Really. Lately the boys attack him when he comes into the house. Attack as in jump on his back the second he sits down. I look over and there is one on his head and another draped across his back.
He does his best to complete his little end-of-day rituals before they pounce, but I often find him still in his work slacks trying to pry his shoes off before someone leaves a huge mud footprint on his pants. I'm sure I should be running interference for just a few minutes more, but occasionally I am too busy sitting in the corner repeating the phrase "I'm going to my happy place, I'm going to my happy place."
My husband cracks me up because the man has no fear of these children. He will take them anywhere at anytime. Dinner time passed 90 minutes ago? He'll still take them to a restaurant for dinner. Sure the little one will start eating a cloth napkin and the older one will try to find food under the table while we are waiting for our order, but my husband's arms just keep moving. Pulling this one out from under here, pulling this one off of this ledge.
All he has talked about for a month is taking the kids to the children's museum. He couldn't wait to go. The man couldn't wait to go to the children's museum--on a weekend. I'll admit that I asked him if he had lost what was left of his mind. In reality, my husband was excited about the prospect of spending an afternoon showing his boys all of these awesome scientific displays that will make their little brains want to explode at the end of the day with exhaustion.
He'll put up with the chasing and corralling and yelling for attention to share this treat with them. And as a very pregnant woman, I cannot think of anything I would rather have them do on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Without me.
It's Spirit Week at Carter's school and I've never seen him happier to wake up, get dressed and be there now before it's too late.
"What's wacky Wednesday?" I ask, since the whole week sounds wacky to me.
"You just have to be waa-aaacky?" he answers, ever so helpfully, blue eyes shining with maniacal glee.
I shrug my shoulders and go back to making what Madeleine describes as "the ultimate lunch"--turkey, cheese on whole wheat bread, chips, juice box and pudding--my penance for an entire school year of jelly sandwiches thrown into a old grocery bag.
Fifteen minutes later Carter comes down dressed in an old ratty t-shirt, a shiny red polka dot tie, two different shoes and a pair of underwear on his head.
Yes, underwear on his head and a chopstick which he announces will help him eat his sandwich. Bwahahahaha. What could be more mischievious, more wacky, more wonderful than that?
Go ahead, treat yourself to something wacky today. Surprise your kids with an unexpected moment of silliness and find out how happy they can be when no one has to button it up, tuck it in or do it right.
For years I've been casing the thrift stores for winter kid gear in hopes of a big snow. Last year I had everything, snow pants, boots, gloves, no dice. I didn't even bother this year. It's been five years since we had any snow we could even remotely play in. Then it happened, in March no doubt! Six inches of the beautiful white stuff finally graced us with her presence.
We tore through the attic looking for the bin of clothes, barely worn sleds and shovels. Jack squeezed into the size 4 LL Bean snow suit, did I mention he's six and so tall? Everyone was delirious. They played for hours. Even shoveling the sidewalk was fun!
About 200 people gathered at our local park for sledding. It was the ultimate neighborhood party. Oh snow, could you send your goodness more than once every five years? We'd really appreciated it.
Feel free to celebrate or curse the snow in the comments.
Just the other day someone asked me how Nathan was doing about the imminent arrival of his baby brother Mason.
The blank look on my face? Um, that would be the window into my soul. The thing is, I haven't really thought about it that much. Sure Derek and I have occasionally discussed how everyone will be feeling when we go from four to five, but other than that, we haven't really discussed it.
Things were different when we went from three to four. We worried that somehow Ethan would be forever traumatized by not being the center of our world anymore. The new baby came and it took Ethan nine whole months to realize what had happened. He decided to be annoyed then but that ship had sailed. He was fine, everyone was fine and now he has a wickedly fun partner-in-crime.
So as the newest (and last baby) is set to descend upon us, I haven't really thought too long or too hard about how Nate will survive this disruption in his life. Maybe it is because he is a completely different child. Not as sensitive or melodramatic as his brother, his frustration and anger management appears to be the "flash-in-the-pan-over-as-soon-as-it-starts" variety. Maybe it's because I too am a middle child and in the grand scheme of things, it is just one of life's many changes.
Whatever his reaction, his mom, dad and big brother love him very much. And I have a good feeling that his brand new baby brother will too.